Ortiz denies rumors, reports of injury
Will former UFC light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell fight for a third time following the 11th season of Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter?
"Yes, I am," Ortiz told SI.com via text message late Wednesday. "Unless Chuck gets hurt."
Reports surfaced this week that Ortiz injured his neck during the taping of TUF 11 and, as a result, would be replaced by Rich Franklin at UFC 115 on June 12 in Vancouver, B.C., this despite UFC president Dana White tweeting Sunday that "nothing happened to Tito." White also declared Franklin was scheduled to fight Randy Couture, yet on Wednesday a source close to Couture told SI.com that nothing was finalized.
Was Ortiz's appearance on TUF 11 cut short?
"Nope," said the 34-year-old fighter, who returned to the UFC last November with a new contract and dropped a split decision against Forrest Griffin.
Ortiz, 15-7-1, confirmed his release from an Orange County, Calif., hospital on Tuesday after losing 15 pounds due to what he called a "bad" case of the flu.
It has been a wild stretch for the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" and his girlfriend, former adult film star, Jenna Jameson, who was hospitalized for pregnancy-related issues.
"She is OK now," he said. "This has been a rough week for us."
Saul Soliz, Ortiz's longtime trainer, told SI.com on Tuesday that he was finalizing plans for their upcoming training camp to prepare for Liddell, who, on the bad end of consecutive knockout losses, makes his first appearance in the cage in over a year after openly contemplating retirement.
In two previous fights with Ortiz, first in 2004 and then again in '06, Liddell (21-7) won by technical knockout.